Ha Long Bay cruise

The song for today’s blog is one I like to listen to a lot, I find the video hilarious and it’s appropriate that we went to the Fat Pig for mom’s birthday celebration, we were off to stay for a couple of nights on Monkey Island and Chrissy had developed a type of ‘Chicken Tourette’s’.


I mentioned before that Chrissy is a fellow CWAG. This is similar to the term WAG which is used in the UK to describe Footballer’s Wives and Girlfriends who are usually to be found being ladies of leisure, going to soirees and drinking wine while their famous footballer husbands earn the money and keep them in the manner in which they’ve become accustomed. Chrissy’s husband does the same job as Captain Caveman (my boyfriend) and often they are unable to attend functions due to them being away at work so it’s been deemed appropriate that Chrissy and I attend on their behalf. The term came about 3 years ago when the boss of Oxalis invited us to an evening meal for all the staff and some local VIPs and we were introduced as the ‘Caver’s Wives & Girlfriends’ aka the CWAGs and it’s been our name ever since. There have been others join and leave the group as well as some honorary CWAGs along the way.

We had a 4 hour drive to Ha Long Bay port with our guide, David, who helpfully explained the Vietnamese tonal part of the language by demonstrating the difference between Watermelon, Pineapple and Coconut ( which are all called ‘dua’ but with slightly different pronunciations). At the port we had to board our Apricot 3 boat via tender due to there being lots of officials about the place – we all had to have our life jackets on too. We checked in to our cabins and were very impressed with the photographer for the brochure’s skills. The boat could have done with a bit of tarting up but our cabins were fine, next door to each and at the back of the boat within easy reach to the back steps up to the restaurant and bar. A massive lunch was served and Dad wasn’t too happy as there was far too much and a lot would end up going to waste. While slowly sailing along David explained a bit of the history of Ha Long Bay and how the limestone rocks were formed, he also helpfully pointed out all the rocks that looked like chickens (we were having trouble seeing it for ourselves). From then on every time David mentioned chicken, Chrissy did a farm-yard impression of a chicken clucking which continued throughout the trip, whenever anyone mentioned chicken.

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In the afternoon we were taken to look at Surprise cave and we all made the short climb up the steps and walk along the path inside. The two main surprises of the tour are the vast number of tourists taking selfies and generally getting in the way of other tourists, as well as a phallic rock that mom declined on having a rude selfie with.

Back on the boat we were quite cool and I was glad of the jacket I’d bought in Hanoi, the air was fresh and the scenery still good but we all passed on the kayaking. We did, however, participate in the Happy Hour and free sangria at sunset, followed by quite a lot of wine with dinner. It might have been a bad idea to have the Tequila, especially as they were big measures and the lime was sliced so thinly it was ineffective – my mom had to eat the lime with skin and pips while another of us had to use the sleeve of their fleece to be sick down after shouting for a bowl but not getting one.

Later as all the boats settled in the bay for the evening we got on the karaoke and felt sorry for the quieter boats nearby who probably weren’t having as much fun as us. We made friends with a lovely French woman who sang ‘Joe le Taxi’ and I teamed up with a fun girl, still in her swim wear, to murder a Whitney Houston song.

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